The acquisition of Gnip by Twitter signals the maturation of the social media industry. Like other, more established industries have done, social media is integrating its supply chain. What better way for that industry to control the end-to-end flow of product (in this case, data) and its associated revenue streams?

As a young company, Twitter had to focus on its core competency: building and growing a high throughput and reliable messaging infrastructure. Therefore, Twitter relied on an open API and an ecosystem of partners to develop and deploy the other tools that enabled adoption. Consolidation started with client software as the first target, with Twitter’s acquisition of TweetDeck in 2011 and the subsequent restrictions imposed both on access to the API and on the relevance and completeness of data delivered by this API.

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